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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Medicating the impossible cat...help!!

You go to your vet and they prescribe a medication for your cat that you need to give X amount X number of times in a day.  Oh sure!! You have a plan in your head of how you can accomplish this.  You attempt that plan an it's a total failure.  Well, that was our scenario when we HAD to give Maya her medications.  At this point with her disease, her medications were her ticket to a longer life.

I knew ever since she was a kitten that when that day comes that she will need to be medicated, Oh Lord help me...and her! She was such a nervous cat.  She was also so incredibly strong.  Wrapping her up in a towel was impossible.

Maya was in heart failure and her vet insisted we give her about 3 different pills, twice a day.  We tried so many different ways of giving these pills that we were pretty unsuccessful.  We had many trips back to the vet office with Maya in which they put her in an oxygen chamber plus giving her meds via a shot to get the fluid out of her lungs.  Meanwhile, Sam and I would get scolded by the vet that she NEEDS to take her meds every day, on time.  Easy, they say.  Well, after a few of these vet visits back, they proclaimed that Maya was the most difficult cat they have ever encountered to give meds.  Yeah, no kidding!  Finally after a month of the many trips back to the vet, the many techniques we tried, they suggested getting compounded medications.  Why didn't they suggest this weeks ago??!!

I loved when after the many attempts we made to unsuccessfully medicate her, someone would always suggest to me, have you tried pill pockets?  Uh, yeah! That's like pill giving 101.

Here are all the techniques we tried.  These were suggested by her vet and the staff, and other things I found online.  Most were unsuccessful:
  • Wrapping the pill in a pill pocket and giving it as a treat.  She looked at it and walked away.
  • Wrapping the pill in a very thin layer of pill pocket and putting it in her wet food.  That worked for maybe a week.
  • Grinding the pill(s) and mixing in her food.  Again, maybe a week.
  • Grinding the pill(s) and putting it in her favorite tuna juice.  Worked 1 time.
  • Wrapping a pill and throwing down her throat.  Worked once after a MAJOR struggle.  Meanwhile we have to keep her calm b/c she has a heart problem.  
  • Grinding the pill(s) and mixing in a little Defurrum gel and wipe on her paw for her to lick.  Again, stressed her out and she flicked most of it off by shaking.
  • Grinding the pill(s) and mixing in a little butter and wiping on her lips,.  Again, stressed her out and she flicked most of it off by shaking.
  • We were so desperate once that we actually got the drill out and carved out the center of her favorite treats to put the pill inside.   That was of course unsuccessful.
Desperation at this point

Finally after a month of the many trips and overnight stays at the vet office, the many techniques we tried, the vet said "I can call in this medication to be compounded".  Why didn't they suggest this weeks ago??!! Having Maya on a consistent medication regime, could have helped her heart and resulted in less vet visits, less stress, and less occurrences of heart failure!

They called in her pills to a pharmacy in Arizona (http://www.roadrunnerpharmacy.com/)and they offered many different flavors to choose from.  Tuna of course is the most popular with cats they told me.  Before Maya passed, she was on four different medications, which were given at different times of the day.  Very difficult.  Most days she took it in her wet food, some days she didn't.  By this time she was weak and dealt with being wrapped in a towel and given her meds via syringe into her mouth.  This still stressed her out to the point of heart failure.

So, I would say if you know your cat is difficult or want to give meds without stressing out your cat, spend the extra money and have the medications turned into a flavored liquid form.  Your kitty with thank you for it!


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